The North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) today held its first meeting of 2017 in Lake Placid, Essex County. The meeting provided the Council with an opportunity to report on progress to date, begin discussions on new business including the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, and kick-off strategic planning for Round VIl, which is proposed in Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's 2017-2018 Executive Budget.
During today’s meeting, the Council welcomed four new members: Mayor Colin Read, City of Plattsburgh; Kevin Acres, Chairman, St. Lawrence County Legislature; Randy Preston, Chairman, Essex County Legislature; and Barbara Rice, Chairwoman, Franklin County Legislature.
The NCREDC today announced it is accepting “Intent to Propose” applications for the $50 million North Country Upstate Revitalization (URI) fund, for which a Project Review committee has been established. The committee, which is composed of seven members of the NCREDC, will be responsible for reviewing proposals seeking URI funding. If an application advances beyond the Council, the state conducts a technical review and makes a final funding decision before a commitment of state dollars is made.
“It's exciting to be starting another year of important work under Governor Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Council system,” said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and NCREDC co-chair. “This process has allowed the North Country to chart its own course, bringing unprecedented state investment behind our economic development projects and strategies. Over the coming months, we will be updating our plans and overseeing the implementation of projects now underway, while actively encouraging the preparation of potential projects for submission mid-year."
"The Governor’s regional approach to economic development has given the North Country the opportunity to lead the renaissance of New York’s small cities and rural communities,”said Tony Collins, President of Clarkson University and NCREDC co-chair. “As demonstrated in the progress updates from past awards and the new topics introduced for emerging project proposals, strong public-private collaboration is igniting sustained transformation in our communities and advancing economic opportunities across the North Country.”
In other business, Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read provided an update on the city’s efforts to implement its Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) plan; and Harry McManus, Chairman of the Clinton County Legislature, provided the latest on the planned expansion of Plattsburgh International Airport. The meeting also included discussions on a renewable energy cooperative and a potential North Country bid on the 2023 World University Games.
Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul presented the Council with an update on Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s State of the State initiatives and Executive Budget proposal. Members were also updated on the status of all regional council projects, including a summary of the 2016 Regional Council awards. In December, the NCREDC was awarded $61.4 million for 77 projects.
The NCREDC, which is composed of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, is one of 10 regional councils across New York State. There are now 450 projects across the region, which have been awarded a total of $484.6 million in support from the State through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative is a key component of Governor Cuomo's approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources.
After six rounds of the REDC process, more than $4.6 billion has been awarded to more than 5,200 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plan, projecting to create and retain more than 210,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.